As students walked out of their classrooms Wednesday for the National School Walkout, many parents and community members across the country and right here in the Coachella Valley joined them. But this morning at Palm Springs High School, supporters of the cause were told to leave.
From coast to coast, students walked out of their classroom to honor the students who were killed in the Parkland, Florida school shooting.
"It felt like we’re actually able to stand up and fight for our rights to be protected and feel safe at school," said Palm Springs High School senior Alex Christian.
In many schools, parents and community members joined the students on campus to support their cause. But at Palm Springs High School, when parents and and other supporters of the cause asked to stand in solidarity with the students, they were abruptly told leave. Moments later, campus police arrived.
A cell phone video of the ordeal was sent to KMIR News. The video was shown to Sandra Lyon, Superintendent of the Palm Springs Unified School District. Lyon was then asked if the situation should have been handled differently.
"It’s hard for me to judge from a short video. I think this is an unusual situation. There is a lot of ambiguity about it," said Lyon. "We also got letters and emails and calls from people who didn’t want us to have our students walkout. So I think we are always trying to balance and make sure that whatever we’re doing meets the needs of our students first."
Students at Palm Springs High School who saw the video say it was not what they expected from security guards at their school.
"I feel like the security guard was more confrontational in that. She could have handled it better. More peaceful tone than what she came at the parents as. She should have explained the situation and how she couldn’t let them in," said Christian.
The parents and community members who were told to leave say they were surprised by the ordeal since other schools in the Coachella Valley invited parents to join their students on campus today.